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DIVISION 85 v. PORT AUTHORITY ALLEGHENY COUNTY (12/13/74)

decided: December 13, 1974.

DIVISION 85, OF THE AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION; JAMES F. MCCARTHY, BUSINESS AGENT; WARREN S. GEORGE, PRESIDENT, AND GEORGE S. PORTER, FINANCIAL SECRETARY-TREASURER, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS REPRESENTATIVES OF THE CLASS OF STRIKING EMPLOYEES OF THE PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, APPELLANTS,
v.
PORT AUTHORITY OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY, APPELLEE. (TWO CASES)



Appeals from the Orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County in case of Port Authority of Allegheny County v. Division 85, Amalgamated Transit Union, James F. McCarthy, Business Agent; Warren S. George, President and George S. Porter, Financial Secretary-Treasurer, individually and as representatives of the class of striking employees of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, No. 2414 January Term, 1974.

COUNSEL

Joseph J. Pass, Jr., with him Jubelirer, McKay, Pass & Intrieri, for appellants.

James Q. Harty, with him Arthur J. Schwab and Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Kramer.

Author: Kramer

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 51]

This opinion will deal with two appeals filed by Division 85, Amalgamated Transit Union, et al. (Union) from orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, issued in an equity action involving a labor dispute between the Union and the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT). The three orders involved will be described in the statement of facts set forth hereinafter.

The Union and PAT had a collective bargaining agreement, which by its terms expired November 30, 1973. Prior to its expiration the parties attempted to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, to become effective December 1, 1973. At the end of the term of the then existing agreement (November 30, 1973), PAT, by letter, offered to place the dispute into binding arbitration under the provisions of Section 13.2 of the Second Class County Port Authority Act, Act of April 6, 1956, P.L. (1955), 1414, as amended, 55 P.S. ยง 563.2.

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 52]

On Sunday, December 2, 1973, at or about 2:00 P.M., the membership of the Union met in a closed meeting. The record does not disclose what transpired at the meeting. The record does disclose, however, that after this meeting a man who identified himself as a union official advised representatives of the news media, gathered outside the meeting hall, that "[t]he outcome is that there will be a strike as of 12:01 tonight." This statement was taken on a tape recording by a representative of the news media, and the tape was introduced into evidence. Later that same day, Sunday, December 2, 1973, counsel for PAT contacted counsel for the Union to advise him that a complaint in equity seeking an injunction against the anticipated strike allegedly called for the following day would be presented to a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County.

Thereafter, the Honorable Richard T. Wentley called a hearing for 8:00 P.M. on that same Sunday, December 2, 1973, at which both parties were represented. The complaint was presented to Judge Wentley at this time, and, because of the seeming urgency of the matter, the court entered upon an immediate hearing. Although the complaint presented by PAT alleged that a work stoppage had already occurred, the record made that Sunday evening clearly shows, in unequivocal language, that neither prior to the hearing nor at the time of the hearing was there any work stoppage or strike in progress by the Union or any of its members. PAT rested its entire case upon the one statement of the one Union official made after the closed Union meeting, alluded to above. It also should be noted that (1) at the time of the hearing, although the Union's counsel appeared, no one representing the Union had been served with any process; and (2) within the three or four hour period given to counsel for the Union prior to the hearing, he had not been able to contact

[ 16 Pa. Commw. Page 53]

    any Union officials, and thus had no opportunity to present their testimony by way of defense to the rather short presentation made by PAT at the hearing.

On that same day, December 2, 1973, following the hearing, Judge Wentley signed an "Order of Court and ...


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